The Canada Water Consultative Forum was set up in 2000 to consider all the major plans and policies relating to the regeneration of the Canada Water area.
Its chair, Pauline Adenwalla, gave evidence to Southwark Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee earlier this month. She said:
In our opinion the decision to proceed with expensive consultation on the preferred site for the new Canada Water Leisure Centre is premature and based on a somewhat flawed report and jeopardises further meaningful consultation on the wider master plan.
British Land had been promising an Olympic-sized swimming pool when it won the bidding to redevelop the wider Canada Water area over a decade ago, she pointed out – that would have been 50m long rather than the 25m now being planned (which will also be a reduction on the 33m pool we have at Seven Islands currently).
A leisure centre in the ‘preferred location’ is likely to be airless and have very little natural light. Quite different to the current 7 Islands which has floor to ceiling windows on both sides and overlooks a garden.
She also drew attention to the uncertainty over whether Transport for London would agree to the new leisure centre being erected on the wildlife area, given how close that site is to its Overground track, tunnel and ventilation shaft.
The trees that the council now wants to cut down in the wildlife area were supposed to be preserved as a landscape buffer in the Canada Water Area Action Plan, she added. This area action plan was adopted by Southwark Council.
You can read her submission here. Or watch her evidence on video above.